Hot Knife was the second title published by Armley Press and the first of John Lake's Leeds 6 Trilogy, the film rights to HK have been sold and the project is still progressing. It's been three years since the events of Hot Knife and Kelly and Bea have fled Leeds 6 to escape their demons and get their lives back on track. But when Bea finds a stash of pills under her teenage son's bed, they find themselves pulled back into a world of petty criminals and hardened villains that includes dodgy old mate Denny, Ukrainian gang lord 'DMT' Dmitri and a sinister killer known as 'The Carpenter' The second entry in the Leeds 6 Trilogy, Blowback is the stand-alone sequel to Hot Knife - another caper packed with colourful characters, colourful language and black humour.
Now, Blowback takes us to a place even sharper and edgier. This is a pulsating sequel to Hot Knife and another fine example of that newest of genres, Leeds Noir, confirming Lake to be one of the most compelling writers around. A writing holiday. Shake off all the props — the props tradition and authority give you — and go alone — crawl — stumble — stagger — but go alone. From the moment they took the stage tonight they demanded attention.
A projection screen told the story, in English subtitles, of their formation, trial, imprisonment and release, while two original Pussy Rioters narrated or actually, sang, declaimed and shouted a narrative that swung from fist-raised defiance to tearful loneliness. Digital dance beats kept the whole thing sounding urgent and uplifting; the performers danced, shouted and exclaimed.
It was Crass all over again, only this time it told the story of imprisonment and hunger strikes. Of being away from your young children, locked in solitary cells, sent to far-flung prison camps, fighting for justice. By the time I went to art college in Maidstone I was waiting for Crass to happen. And for that 18 year-old in a library reading about the Russian Labour Camps, about totalitarianism and imprisonment, it all came back to me tonight watching Pussy Riot.
It became part of how I think about music and the world. It became an introduction to art being part of real change, for real people in really crap situations. It reminded me that the world is learning, bit by bit. Peevishness, Pride and Everyday Activism. August I went into Leeds centre on both weekend days. On Saturday I went to see a play at The Grand Theatre and then nipped across town to buy the new Randy Newman album, and on the walk down one of the thronged pedestrianised streets I heard some badly-distorted ranting.
A bloke with a microphone and a small speaker which he had on full volume. If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads! And a woman he was with was handing out leaflets along with the bellowing and the bluster and I had to get up close to this man to have a good look at him, to see what was in his eyes.
And what I saw there was joylessness. Not a sad or melancholy joylessness, just a spiteful peevishness, a lack of fun, a lack of heart. And the joylessness was old and tired and out of date. Every street and square filled with people in bright colours, smiling and laughing and singing and shouting.
And what hit me as I became swallowed up in this mass of life and energy was the word joy. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated and isolated, joy is a fine act of insurrection. Black-and-white images of civil rights protestors in Birmingham, Alabama attacked by police dogs, human rights advocators in El Salvador beaten and bloodied, striking miners at Orgreave battered and bruised.
The media likes to paint protest in stark blacks, whites and reds, it records the chants and not the songs. Che Guevara holding a gun is a more powerful image than Che Guevara holding a golf club, laughing.
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Change has happened, is still happening, in my lifetime. The Stonewall Riots in New York — riots that led directly to the forming of Gay rights organisations, newspapers and marches — happened when I was eight years old, the year I was baptised into the Mormon Church. By the time I was a young teenager I was typically and understandably homophobic. Even then it took me ages to disentangle myself from all the years of being taught that civilisation was under threat from same-sex relationships. In Chile, women under the Pinochet dictatorship sang the Ninth outside the torture prisons, where those inside took hope when they heard the music being sung.
Look at them, pinched and old and sour. Compare them to the faces of those singing and dancing in the streets at Pride. Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times. Berthold Brecht. I went home after Pride feeling energised and uplifted, a headful of hope to counteract my daily disgust at superpower politicking. The mean old man, sour and bigoted, his heart stuffed with foul, worn-out lies, stuffed with Trump and Brexit and Boris Johnson stuck in a harness twelve feet above ground, stuffed with bile and spleen and peevishness, that mean old man with his distorted amplifier is on the losing side, and you can see it in his grimace.
Process, Performance, Cabbage and Peas. July You never get used to the disorientating feeling you have at the end of a final show. The short, sharp shock of breaking up the gang. On top of that, the ruthless speed at which the elation of the show is followed by this strange break-up sadness seems purpose-built to make your head spin. At least being on the other side now I can gather up some of the chaos of thoughts that have been running riot over the past year or so.
Collect them together and, standing at a little distance, make sense of them. To re-cap: last week was the culmination of over a year working in Seacroft with Jane Morland and Space2, a year spent finding stories and making friends. Teeth and tits, and all for the show. As much about how people grow and develop than how well they speak their lines on stage at the Playhouse. Anyone who watched the show last week — a huge whirling dervish of characters, songs, jokes and dancing — might think otherwise. I want to hear those lines nicely and clearly in the right order, please.
When I started to work for Space2 I was thrown into a world that challenged this way of thinking, and it really confused me for a while. Yes, the end result — a big show that went to plan and had the audience laughing, crying and cheering in equal measures — was a joy to see and be part of.
It was about all the effort and heart that went into it, all the afternoons gathering stories and the snatched choir rehearsals in primary school halls. Suffice to say I felt like I watched individuals, often under the amazing care of their youth leaders, teachers and mentors, create versions of themselves that were capable of anything. Capable of changing themselves, changing the place where they live, and, by extension, changing the world.
But this misses the transformation that can happen not on stage but in the work of making the play. Same postcode maybe, but different planets all the same. In those seemingly endless rehearsals in the strip-lit Seacroft Methodist Hall I saw them looking like family. But there in Seacroft we had the best version of a family — the motleyest of crews sharing laughs, dance moves, tears and biscuits. But if the Seacroft show did anything, it engaged its audience. Shouting and singing, and dancing about themselves.
So it was indeed an incredible day at West Yorkshire Playhouse, all the parts coming together and everyone looking and sounding phenomenal. But to me that was just a huge outward expression of the phenomena that had been going on all around Seacroft while we were practising and teaching and learning.
Something to savour, definitely. My neice Emma came to stay from America recently. Anyway Emma sat still for five minutes to explain that, since I and my generation of leftist anarchist troublemakers had been around so long, it was our duty to pass on advice about activism to a new generation, a generation coming to terms with a shocking new world.
Emma had even been asked by an activist friend back home near Philadelphia to make notes and bring them home with her. It felt strange, but In order to sustain the notes as one unstopping whole, each singer has to take time out to breathe, to recover, and to take another lungful of air. If everyone takes their break at different times, the singing carries on, unbroken and powerful. This may be a long hard struggle, and we all need time to stop shouting and complaining and organising, we need time to stop and breathe. To read and drink tea. To stop watching the news and checking Twitter.
To walk in a forest. To sit in an art gallery or a cinema. To take the kids to a waterpark. To run up a hill. Secondly, accept that activism, or protest or whatever you want to call it, is a broad church. Stop it! Embrace the idea that our having differently-styled protests is a strength. It all adds up. Some people write to politicians, some people throw bricks through windows. Some people go on strike, some people wear button badges. Some people march on the streets, some people sign petitions. Some people make documentary films, some people write songs, some people make speeches, some people knit pink hats, some people throw shoes at politicians, some people boycott, picket, chant, make banners, make cakes, make jokes.
Because order comforts those who voted for these governments in the first place. So any sense of chaos, of disorder, of things getting out of hand, is good. It says, this lot are losing control. The broad spectrum of our protests plays into this notion of chaos and disorder; strikes stop the trains, marches stop the traffic, disruptions stop the normal flow.
But in each situation, be prepared to compromise and accept differences. Some political organisations are like religions, believing they have a monopoly on ideological purity. Activism can be effective by the very looseness of its scope and breadth. Opposition to the Poll Tax, introduced in Britain in , serves as an example of how protest can work; it was organised across a whole range of ideas including national and regional non-compliance including refusal to pay, the setting up of thousands of neighbourhood organisations and countless local demonstrations, disrupted court hearings and tales of tax collectors being attacked.
On top of this, a national march in London turned into a fully-fledged riot. Four hundred people were arrested. One of the best ways to turn duty into pleasure is to do it with other people. Form groups, make plans, share the work, sing together, laugh together. Protest can be creative and ingenious; the more unexpected, the better. Angry dairy farmers in France fired volleys of milk from huge containers at the riot police. Hundreds gathered at a pub in central London for a same-sex kiss-in after two men said they had been thrown out of the establishment for canoodling.
Fourthly, and this fits with thirdly really — make connections. Gather, group, converge, huddle. A mass of living, laughing, shouting opposition. And for all my talk about fun and guerilla protest, there are plenty of organisations and groups full of people who have years of experience and background in creating effective opposition.
I mean grass roots groups, not-for-profit groups, local groups.
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Oh and another thing: drink in the good stuff, the uplifting stuff. Part of the role of the artist in these weird times is to offer an alternative, and with it a suggestion of a way out and a way through — a transcendental vision of a better, brighter world. Look her up, get inspired, then stop, then breathe.
Emma, you can probably use this as notes for your friends. Firebricks and Flares in Rainy Colchester. January One of the games running around social media at the moment is people posting the ten albums that most influenced them in their teenage years. I might have guessed that, of my friends mostly born a decade either side of me , the older people have lists full of space-age hippies, prog rockers and experimental folkies, and the younger people have top tens that start with The Clash and end in hip-hop.
Because what it did was it started conversations. Disruption, opposition, shock, anything to provoke possibility and opportunity. Things have got that bad. Things are that scary. Gee was a member of anarchist punks Crass, the ex-hippies who jumped ship, learned barre chords and took in their flares you can see it in the old photographs on the walls… Crass as experimental art group Exit in their loon pants and collarless shirts suddenly appearing in military-style black, chopped hair and not a centimetre of spare material to be seen.
As a conceptual art collective, Exit were doing strange things with wood and string during the mids at the Roundhouse in London. Shocking the straights, challenging boredom, in blurry, flickering Super At the exhibition I watch some of the home-made films made of their performances, on playing fields in Essex, earnest young people being vaguely interesting and defiantly weird.
They held an annual Bonfire Night march carrying towering papier-mache models of the Houses of Parliament, which they then burnt on a huge fire. I had no idea who these people were, but their incredibly un-Burnley artistic rituals, as well as their very presence in the town, stuck with me. Outsiders, wanting something more than that old Burnley Borough Council stodginess. There it is again, that disruptiveness that cracks open possibility.
At the time I was listening to the music of the Bonzo Dog Band, art-prank geniuses who ridiculed the everyday tedium of modern suburban Britain. I began to sense the way art and music were creating alternatives, opening up avenues that might lead away from 9 to 5 jobs and semi-detached nuclear families. What caused the break? A coming-together of circumstances, for sure; visionary artists and manic entrepreneurs. But also a particular political scenario.
A point where post-war Anglo-American power reached its zenith. The dawn of Thatcher-Reagan; no such thing as society. Open warfare. Mass unemployment. The workers have had it too good for too long. At that point in history, we all sensed that changing world. It happened because Crass seized their chance to blast open that crack in the possibilities. And blast it open they did, along with a bunch of other musicians and artists, and in turn a generation of boys and girls who were willing to dance, play, shout and fight in the opened spaces caused by the disruption.
There are some parallels between the late s and the way our world is tilting and shifting now. I was wrong. Things are more grim now than anything I experienced in the s. Both in everyday, media-fed ignorance and prejudice and in the new-found, frightening, swaggering power of our political and corporate leaders.
Gee has weaved a lifetime as an artist working out different ways to start conversations, different ways to shock, different ways to debate. I first saw Crass in a church hall in some out-of-the-way village in Kent. I was at college in Maidstone and my mate Spider — always with his finger on the pulse — had been yakking on about this weird band. I caught the train to see them and was duly stunned. What it said to me was that these were artists who had learnt how to put on a show that could stop us in our tracks, that could made us blink. A show that shocked.
It said, all is not right with the world. I loved my Paul Simon and my Beatles. But somehow I took this snippet of art that crept into the gaps and ran with it, and I believed it when Malcolm McLaren said the song was "a call to arms to the kids It's a statement of self rule, of ultimate independence.
Rebecca Solnit again:.
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When you recognise uncertainty, you recognise that you may be able to influence the outcomes — you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. But I hold out hope that in the upheaval that comes with this Brexit-Trump world there will be cracks and fissures, openings, gaps. All they want is the smallest crack. This was in , or thereabouts. We commandeered a Victorian tumble-down mansion in West Leeds, planted a garden of vegetables, built furniture out of discarded wooden pallets, and blagged and borrowed amplifiers and microphones.
But there was something missing, and we found it in a skip round the back of the Leeds University buildings one night, where perfectly good stuff seemed to be routinely thrown out. What we found was a Roneo rotary stencil duplicator. Basically, a crude desk-top printer.
It was as big as a kitchen bin and incredibly heavy, with a single circular drum housed in a steel frame, a large cranking handle at the side and the smudge and stink of old printing ink all over it. This incredible cultural upheaval changed the way we communicated and learned, forever. It empowered us. Power to the people, in fact.
A journey that threads through letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books and libraries. Celebrating the outward explosion of knowledge that came from that mechanical wooden frame and a block of re-usable metal type. I first came across a stencil duplicator a few years before that night at Leeds Uni, when I was at secondary school in Burnley — my dad had brought a huge old Gestetner printer home from the primary school where he worked and I learnt how to draw into the waxy sheets and create a template that could be attached to the drum. Overnight I produced scores of copies of a cartoon ridiculing one of my teachers and, first thing next morning, distributed them at school.
Within minutes of the first lesson the printed sheets were up on noticeboards and being passed around classrooms. Someone snitched and I ended up with a week of staying behind at home-time and missing football training. I was never cut out to be a footballer anyway. Within just fifty years of the building of that first printing press, printing presses were in operation throughout Western Europe and had produced twenty million books; rising in the sixteenth century to between and million books.
One of the things I loved about that old Roneo was the smell, the mess, the physicality of the machine. One of the most evocative smells is the fusty reek of a second-hand bookshop. Most research now confirms the fact that paper is still the best medium for storing information. The original Gutenberg press was a rudimentary design, a wooden frame with a lever that allowed a plate to be pressed down onto sheets of paper. It looks, now, not unlike an ornate high-backed chair, or a guillotine. But within this construction of wood and steel, joints and brackets, lay a universe of ideas and knowledge.
Commoners Choir will be performing as part of an afternoon celebrating print, literacy and libraries at Leeds Central Library on Sunday November 13 th between 1pm and 3pm. Guy Debord Goes Rambling. Good things. As we arrive in Yarpole there are church bells ringing — for us. British churches have come to signify little else but the past, at best a nostalgic and pleasant reminder of peace and order and at worst the slow, gloomy, draughty death of an idea. This church in Yarpole is different.
The preaching end of the church — the bit with a pulpit and a cross — is almost an afterthought. In an age when we communicate with our friends mainly through pressing buttons, this step into the past is a great leap forward. Half a century ago, Guy Debord, erstwhile leader of the Situationists, foretold of a world where instead of experiencing the world in the here-and-now we would instead accept a second-hand version of it.
Nothing would be as it seemed; we would live in a society of fabricated pretence, see everything via screens, our language and culture carefully managed for us. Debord called it the Society of the Spectacle — living would become a series of hand-me-down lifestyle choices interspersed with advertisements for products that complemented the Spectacle. I stop. A bee or fly, somewhere. Nothing else. This real world never went away, of course.
Pantheism offers a way of understanding one's place in the world, a place where living a meaningful life depends upon a good relationship with our ultimate context: the Universe and the Earth. But back to the singing and walking. After one road crossing we clamber over a fence and leave the roar of the combustion engine to follow a long dyke, where a herd of around fifteen horses gallops alongside us, heavy and powerful and breathtaking.
Rainstorms come and go, Benji and Rowan pick apples from cider orchards as we pass, and our feet get muddied or blistered or both. We get lost and found, we stumble over decaying footbridges, we struggle to lift pet dogs over stiles and we alternate between wonderful chatter and glorious quiet. Earlier this summer I was full of gloom and doom at the realisation that, simply put, the world seemed to be getting worse, as a majority of Brits stood behind the Mail and The Sun and registered their support for a racist, divisive and inward-looking future that had been conjured up by Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.
Basically, I felt utterly hopeless. Then Rebecca Solnit came along with an article she wrote in The Guardian, a piece that acknowledged the bad stuff but reminded me that hope is still a valuable currency, that in many ways the world is getting better, bit by bit, quietly and from below, out of sight of power and wealth. But I do know that people are looking for it.
If you can measure authenticity in sweat, then this is real. Sales of acoustic instruments in Britain are up and rising. Numbers of walkers, too, are up and rising.
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John rings us up, wondering where we are. But getting a map out galvanises us, wakes us up. See, for me, this is Pantheism — not just a spiritual connection with Nature, but a recognition that we have an integral part within Nature, we are one and all and together and indivisible. Helen jabs her finger across the contours and we look up at the skyline that revolves right around us. And we need to go there. Despite being marooned off the back of the walk, despite having wandered blindly into a cul-de-sac of unknown territory, we have hope.
Rediscovering adventure. Crass, me and Gareth Malone. Since then the choir has grown, gone through the crawling and toddling stages and now stands up and shouts, with umpteen songs under its belt and loads of projects and ideas in the diary past and present. From that tentative minute-long song has grown a huge and unruly full-throated yell. Yes, this is a blog about a choir. What can I say? Monday nights are choir nights and choir nights are a joy.
They really are. And what I can assume is that being in Commoners Choir is somewhere between being in a band and being in a choir, which was, as it happens, exactly the aim. Being in a band is about making music as a gang, purposeful, ambitious and close-knit. Being in a choir is about the empathy and shared experience of making music with lots of people. A bit more about the band thing. The youthful, exciting stuff. And of matching the guitar to drums and bass, of playing with the tension and dynamics of volume and sound.
I always loved being in a band. Bands are intense, so it was a bit daunting. And I knew I had to steer clear of anything that might sound remotely like Chumbawamba that would be weird, like being in a covers band. In the meantime I was writing scores of songs for theatre and art and community projects, for friends and for fun. I worked with choirs in a project at Manchester Museum with Dan Bye and Sarah Punshon and thoroughly loved it and then created a small scratch choir to sing at the Tate Gallery in London and loved that too.
I found it challenging and enjoyable and strange and wonderful. Absolute diametric opposites. Sacred, harmonic grandeur paired with frenetic, angry polemic. But the thing about the Tabernacle Choir and Crass is that both are utterly compelling, they share a desire to tell the world something important. We just released our second video. The Boris Johnson one. Getting this far really has been a team effort. Mr Whalley, in the kitchen, with the axe.
Fixing A Hole. All I need is a few lines, an idea, a hook… 8am and Paul is sitting with a cup of tea playing guitar. This time, three or four chops into the task, I somehow lose concentration and the axe bangs into my wrist. I run to the sink and the blood spatters onto the lino and across the dishes. Paul looks up, stops playing his guitar, swears, tells me to wrap my arm in a teatowel and runs off to get Josh.
I twist the tea towel tighter and watch as it grows red and sodden. Two musicians in the pub had steadily gone from playing their own repertoire of folk-tinged acoustic songs to banging out Eagles and Fleetwood Mac tunes that had everyone in the pub bellowing along. Josh crashes into the kitchen half-asleep and in only his pants, takes a look at the cut in my arm carefully revealed as if the teatowel were the wrapping on a chocolate orange and retreats. The rain is starting to bucket now. An old bloke in a flat cap is walking his dismal-looking dog so Josh runs across. Off we go, Paul and me, while Josh heads back down to Staithes to rally James and gather all our belongings, wondering irrationally whether he ought to be shouldering some of the blame for leaving his axe lying around.
Which is silly, of course. Society as in culture, community, the aggregate of people living together. All hail the NHS…. And on the bright side, I can write up the events of the day as a blog, full of flowery sentiment and exaggeration. Arm cleaned, wrapped and tied in an upright position, we race to the hand injuries department down in Leeds.
Casey takes over from Paul in Otley and hurtles us both into Leeds, tyres burning and brakes squealing, down narrow alleys and knocking over market stalls on the way. In truth, he finds a broken bone, severed ligaments and tendons and various nerves cut right through. This is the hospital where I saw Jimmy Saville once, visiting my friend Di. I declined. Monday morning and the hospital staff in the hand unit are arranging the patients into a league table of urgency on a big white card system on the wall. And it sounds right, too. You can hear the wool pad as it swabs its route across the wound.
Swab swab swab and a bloke in a white coat injects about half a bathful of weird stuff into my arm that races up and down turning all the sore and tingling flesh into a lumpy, numb deadweight. A nurse, after asking my permission, constructs a small cloth screen to prevent me from seeing the operation, adjusting the lights above whilst a team of five or six people busy themselves with strange eyepieces, snap-on latex gloves and trays of shiny instruments.
And swabs. And off they go, prodding and picking, slicing the arm open and flapping the skin back to get better room to work with inside. But this is different. As soon as one of the surgeons sees me trying to peer beyond the erected screen he invites me in for a proper look, with the eager air of a game show host welcoming me onto the stage to win a cuddly toy. All these folk from Redcar to Leeds in a big conspiracy of caring, simply because some numpty who should have stuck to art and music decided to chop a lump out of his arm.
Which makes sense, since they do this day in, day out, but which is still difficult to hear. In my book, that beats turning water into wine anyday. So Casey drives me home and I face up to the minor inconveniences of a few months of not running, not driving and typing very, very slowly with the finger of one hand.
The piece is essentially a systematic downgrading of the Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout, an event that, to most of us, signified a dramatic change in the popular clamour for access rights and freedom to roam. No-one can doubt the incredible groundwork that had ben done by the suffragists and the Votes for Women movement both inside and outside Parliament during the late s. Lobbying, organising, marching and calling for change brought the issue into the public eye. But progress had halted, stuttered, and slowed to a crawl; tired legislators lazily fobbing off the suffragists.
Then along came the Pankhursts. They were visionaries who realised the need for the spectacle, for deeds to bring attention to the words. A quick scan through newspapers of the day shows that the suffragettes this new term for the women was itself a media-invented phrase were wholly and utterly derided and opposed. It worked. Which brings me back to the Kinder mass trespass. But what the Trespass and the subsequent arrests and imprisonment of five trespassers achieved was deliberate and focussed; it drew in the wider public. Firstly, the Trespass was publicised in advance.
There was nothing underhand or sneaky about it, no crawling along behind walls. It was also made explicit that this was to be a politically-motivated event, and furthermore that it was specifically confrontational. Importantly, the Trespassers were accompanied on the entire walk by police officers, something the ramblers were presumably happy with; this was an open declaration of intent and action, a moment of standing up and being counted.
The walk, in addition, began with a rally, an overtly political rally. The hundreds who turned out, including the local constabulary and the newspaper reporters present, could have been in no doubt that the whole event was openly, brazenly provocative. When the five walkers were arrested and put on trial, they continued to be openly defiant in court. One young man was given the chance to avoid a prison sentence by paying a fine and expressing regret for his actions; he refused.
There is a case to be made for the idea that the Mass Trespass has become mythologised to the extent that it crowds out any and all of the incredible work done by campaigners and organisers before and after the event. Bringing this work to our attention is important if we are to see the Trespass in its right context. The Mass Trespass changed the game; it was an opportunity seized by a group of people who understood popular culture and the machinations of politics not at Parliamentary level but where it can often count most effectively — on the ground, in this case the rolling, muddied ground of the Peak District.
Any of us who might walk or run on the open moorlands of Britain has a debt of gratitude to give to those few hundred souls who, while building on the work done by countless others, effectively reinvisioned the methods and rules of the debate over land access. David Hey's article was published in the Agricultural History Review and can be read here. I knew it at school — subjects with clear rules, like mathematics and science, confounded me.
I gravitated without understanding why towards subjects that required opinion or debate. Organisation, with its set patterns and its definites, seemed to be the antithesis of my longing for a life of wonder and weirdness. I just knew I hated maths, hated calculus and trigonometry and sine, cosine, tangent. This summer was a hotch-potch mix of family and work, of jigsaws and art shows. At the start of the summer I ended up with four other songwriters in a beautifully wild patch of the Durham coast for four days, without access to the internet, without my little boy Johnny dressed up as Spiderman tugging at my legs and demanding a game of tig, without phone calls, food shopping, feeding the cat or watching the football on telly.
We were there to write songs about the new coastal path, about the way the area is rapidly changing, looking over its shoulder at the fishing ports and the mineworks. Projects like this have done wonders for my songwriting. It was a treat to hear the other songwriters — Findlay Napier, Kate Young, Ed Pickford and Jackie Oates, all brilliant and all as different from each other as I was to them — dealing with the project in very different ways.
Plenty of glowing amidst the rain. Free entertainment every evening bingo, a turn, and Cokes with straws. Playing with The Ramblers was altogether different. We slouched around a plastic table backstage and hummed and strummed and tapped out the intros and outros Eric Clapton on ukulele , slashed the set down to its barest minimum because of a power cut, and then strode onstage to launch into a handily-sized selection of songs from the new album.
I enjoy playing with the Ramblers. I have very little artistic input — my place is on the walks, and in nattering on-mic between songs — and I find that a rarity. Benji was doing the big Bellowhead send-off, so I got dragged in. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Hot Knife , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 15, Tom Steer rated it really liked it.
The second half of this novel redeems it though, specifically Hamed, the Iraqi hitman who ends up being a compelling character. A four star, though not a book I would rush to recommend to someone else. May 10, Gael rated it liked it.
This has the novelty value of being set in a time and place very familiar to me. I was too busy being a single mum to get involved with the types of characters John Lake writes about, but I was kind of there.